Governor Dan McKee, Commissioner Angélica Infante-Green and the Rhode Island Department of Education (RIDE) announced today that RIDE has funded 19 providers to provide quality adult education programs, representing a total annual investment of nearly $7 million from state and federal governments means corresponds to the 2023 financial year.
“With the rapidly changing workforce and its demands, it is more important than ever for Rhode Islanders to develop their skills and expand their educational and employment opportunities,” he said Governor Dan McKee. “Through the historic fiscal year 2023 budget, my government has increased investment in adult learning for the first time in over a decade. Together, we will equip Rhode Islanders with the resources and tools they need to gain college and career skills and qualifications and achieve their goals.”
“Through this investment in adult education, we hope Rhode Island residents will be reminded that it’s never too late to invest in yourself,” said Patti DiCenso, chair of the Council on Elementary and Secondary Education. “I am deeply grateful to our partners who have worked to transform the lives of our adult learners.”
This year’s Call for Proposals (RFP) for adult learning providers was the first since 2018. This competition identified providers working with RIDE for the next five program years from July 1, 2022 to June 30, 2027. Among the 19 scholarship recipients, 15 individuals are organizations:
- Blackstone Valley Community Action Program
- Community Care Alliance/Project LEARN
- Comprehensive Community Action Program
- Cranston Adult Education Programs
- East Bay Community Action Program
- educational exchange
- Newport Community School/Aquidneck Island Adult Learning Center
- Pawtucket Adult Education Progreso Latino
- Rhode Island Regional Adult Education/Mentor, Inc.
- Rhode Island Institute for Labor Studies and Research
- Providence Public Library/Rhode Island Family Literacy Initiative Tri-County Community Action Agency
- West Bay Community Action, Inc.
In addition, four collaborations between several organizations were funded as consortia:
- Community College of Rhode Island, in partnership with the Rhode Island Department of Justice
- Crossroads Rhode Island, in partnership with Amos House
- Dorcas International Institute of Rhode Island, in partnership with the Center for Southeast Asians and the Scalibrini Dukcevich Center
- Genesis Center, in partnership with New Bridges for Haitian Success and Refugee Dream Center
Grantees provide virtual and in-person services in approximately 13 cities and communities across the state. Adult education and literacy activities—including GED, workforce training, and English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL)—help Rhode Island adults gain skills and qualifications for college and careers, engaged citizenship, and family and community leadership.
“This robust adult education network is key to ensuring an inclusive and equitable post-pandemic recovery of the state’s workforce,” he said Education Commissioner Angélica Infante-Green. “We must continue to break down barriers and remind Rhode Islanders that it’s never too late to learn. I look forward to hearing more success stories and building a stronger Rhode Island through adult education.”
In addition to nearly $7 million in annual grants, Rhode Island’s fiscal year 2023 budget includes a $540,000 increase in general revenue funding for adult education and a $5 million investment from the State Fiscal Recovery Funds (SFRF) program, which is part of the American Rescue Plan, to be paid out over three fiscal years. Of these funds, $2 million is allocated to fiscal year 2022-2023. These funds will strengthen the nationwide network of adult education providers who – like other education systems – made an abrupt and unexpected shift to distance learning at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and continue to adapt to changing conditions to ensure quality adult services learners.
Additionally, through a separate competition, RIDE selected the Providence Public Library/Rhode Island Family Literacy Initiative as the leading professional development facility for the state’s adult education network. The library will work closely with RIDE to further develop a coherent system of professional learning to support quality, standards-based teaching and the adoption of effective practices nationwide.
To learn more about RIDE-funded adult education programs statewide and to pre-register for adult education, ESOL, job skills training, high school certificate/GED, and citizenship classes, visit EnrollRI.org/adulted.
To learn more about adult education in Rhode Island, please visit: https://www.ride.ri.gov/StudentsFamilies/EducationPrograms/AdultEducationGED.aspx.